Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God.
Please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone. We have not led anyone astray. We have not taken advantage of anyone.
I'm not saying this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts forever. We live or die together with you.
I have the highest confidence in you, and my pride in you is great. You have greatly encouraged me; you have made me happy despite all our troubles.
When we arrived in Macedonia there was no rest for us. Outside there was conflict from every direction, and inside there was fear.
But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.
His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. When he told me how much you were looking forward to my visit, and how sorry you were about what had happened, and how loyal your love is for me, I was filled with joy!
I am no longer sorry that I sent that letter to you, though I was sorry for a time, for I know that it was painful to you for a little while.
Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to have remorse and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.
For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death.
Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish the wrongdoer. You showed that you have done everything you could to make things right.
My purpose was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you so that in the sight of God you could show how much you really do care for us.
We have been encouraged by this. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was at the way you welcomed him and set his mind at ease.
I had told him how proud I was of you -- and you didn't disappoint me. I have always told you the truth, and now my boasting to Titus has also proved true!
Now he cares for you more than ever when he remembers the way you listened to him and welcomed him with such respect and deep concern.
I am very happy now because I have complete confidence in you.